Only purpose

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Preface and Introduction

BG Preface: Our only purpose is to present this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is in order to guide the conditioned student to the same purpose for which Kṛṣṇa descends to this planet once in a day of Brahmā, or every 8,600,000,000 years. This purpose is stated in Bhagavad-gītā, and we have to accept it as it is; otherwise there is no point in trying to understand the Bhagavad-gītā and its speaker, Lord Kṛṣṇa.

BG Chapters 7 - 12

BG 7.18, Purport: The devotees who want some benefit out of devotional service are accepted by the Lord because there is an exchange of affection. Out of affection they ask the Lord for some material benefit, and when they get it they become so satisfied that they also advance in devotional service. But the devotee in full knowledge is considered to be very dear to the Lord because his only purpose is to serve the Supreme Lord with love and devotion.

BG Chapters 13 - 18

BG 17.10, Purport: The purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength. This is its only purpose. In the past, great authorities selected those foods that best aid health and increase life's duration, such as milk products, sugar, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. These foods are very dear to those in the mode of goodness.


SB Canto 5

SB 5.5.5, Purport: Unless one understands the self and its activities, one has to be considered in material bondage. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.2.32) it is also said: ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ. A person who doesn't have knowledge of devotional service may think himself liberated, but actually he is not. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adho 'nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ: [SB 10.2.32] such people may approach the impersonal Brahman effulgence, but they fall down again into material enjoyment because they have no knowledge of devotional service. As long as one is interested in karma and jñāna, he continues enduring the miseries of material life—birth, old age, disease and death. Karmīs certainly take on one body after another. As far as jñānīs are concerned, unless they are promoted to the topmost understanding, they must return to the material world. As explained in Bhagavad-gītā (7.19): bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate. The point is to know Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva, as everything and surrender unto Him. Karmīs do not know this, but a devotee who is one hundred percent engaged in the devotional service of the Lord knows fully what is karma and jñāna; therefore a pure devotee is no longer interested in karma or jñāna. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. The real bhakta is untouched by any tinge of karma and jñāna. His only purpose in life is to serve the Lord.
SB 5.18.27, Purport: It is fashionable for materialistic persons to compete with the power of God. When so-called scientists try to manufacture living entities in their laboratories, their only purpose is to defy the talent and ability of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called illusion. It exists even in the higher planetary systems, where great demigods like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and others reside. In this world everyone is puffed up with false prestige despite the failure of all his endeavors. When so-called philanthropists, who supposedly want to help the poor, are approached by members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, they say, "You are simply wasting your time, while I am feeding vast masses of starving people." Unfortunately, their meager efforts, either singly or together, do not solve anyone's problems.
SB 5.19.13, Purport: "Even if one commits the most abominable actions, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated." (Bg. 9.30) The only purpose of life is to be fully absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa and His form, pastimes, activities and qualities. If one is able to think of Kṛṣṇa in this way, twenty-four hours a day, he is already liberated (svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ [SB 2.10.6]). Whereas materialists are absorbed in material thoughts and activities, devotees, on the contrary, are always absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's activities. Therefore they are already on the platform of liberation. One has to think of Kṛṣṇa with full absorption at the time of death. Then he will certainly return home, back to Godhead, without a doubt.

SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13

SB 10.1.4, Purport: One should avoid hearing from a person not situated in Vaiṣṇava behavior. A Vaiṣṇava is nivṛtta-tṛṣṇa; that is, he has no material purpose, for his only purpose is to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So-called scholars, philosophers and politicians exploit the importance of Bhagavad-gītā by distorting its meaning for their own purposes. Therefore this verse warns that kṛṣṇa-kathā should be recited by a person who is nivṛtta-tṛṣṇa. Śukadeva Gosvāmī epitomizes the proper reciter for Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and Parīkṣit Mahārāja, who purposefully left his kingdom and family prior to meeting death, epitomizes the person fit to hear it. A qualified reciter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam gives the right medicine (bhavauṣadhi) for the conditioned souls. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is therefore trying to train qualified preachers to recite Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā throughout the entire world, so that people in general in all parts of the world may take advantage of this movement and thus be relieved of the threefold miseries of material existence.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

CC Adi 9.29, Purport: This is the sum and substance of Lord Caitanya’s saṅkīrtana movement. There is no distinction made between those who are fit and those who are not fit to hear or take part in the saṅkīrtana movement. It should therefore be preached without discrimination. The only purpose of the preachers of the saṅkīrtana movement must be to go on preaching without restriction. That is the way in which Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu introduced this saṅkīrtana movement to the world.

CC Antya-lila

CC Antya 7.39, Translation: “The unalloyed love of the gopīs and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is without any trace of material lust. The criterion of such transcendental love is that its only purpose is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Krsna Book 21: While Kṛṣṇa was engaged in tending the cows in the forest of Vṛndāvana or on Govardhana Hill, the gopīs in the village were always absorbed in thinking of Him and discussing His different pastimes. This is the perfect example of Kṛṣṇa consciousness: to somehow or other remain always engrossed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa. The vivid example is always present in the behavior of the gopīs; therefore Lord Caitanya declared that no one can worship the Supreme Lord by any method which is better than the method of the gopīs. The gopīs were not born in very high brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya families; they were born in the families of vaiśyas, and not in big mercantile communities but in the families of cowherd men. They were not very well educated, although they heard all sorts of knowledge from the brāhmaṇas, the authorities of Vedic knowledge. The gopīs’ only purpose was to remain always absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa.
Krsna Book 60: Lord Kṛṣṇa continued: “My dear best of queens, I clearly understand that you have no material ambition; your only purpose is to serve Me, and you have long been engaged in unalloyed service. Exemplary unalloyed devotional service not only can bestow upon the devotee liberation from this material world, but it also promotes him to the spiritual world to be eternally engaged in My service. Persons too much addicted to material happiness cannot render such service. Women whose hearts are polluted and full of material desires devise various means of sense gratification while outwardly showing themselves to be great devotees.

Mukunda-mala-stotra (mantras 1 to 6 only)

Mukunda-mala-stotra, mantra 4: The spiritual master in the authoritative line of disciplic succession is the "son of God," or in other words the Lord's bona fide representative. The proof that he is bona fide is his invincible faith in God, which protects him from the calamity of impersonalism. An impersonalist cannot be a bona fide spiritual master, for such a spiritual master's only purpose in life must be to render service to the Lord. He preaches the message of Godhead as the Lord's appointed agent and has nothing to do with sense gratification or the mundane wrangling of the impersonalists. No one can render devotional service to an impersonal entity because such service implies a reciprocal personal relationship between the servant and the master. In the impersonal school the so-called devotee is supposed to merge with the Lord and lose his separate existence.


Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 1.30 -- London, July 23, 1973: A man works very hard day and night to become rich just to make a show that "My dear friends, my dear relatives, you see that how I have become now rich." This is the only purpose. Nobody is working hard for serving Kṛṣṇa. This is māyā. And Kṛṣṇa consciousness means, the same hardship we shall take, but take for Kṛṣṇa. Just like our Mrs. Sharma. She was working in the family, but now she has come to work for Kṛṣṇa. And this is salvation. This is mukti. Not that we have to stop our working capacity. Simply we have to change the position. In the family life we work uselessly for so-called relatives, but the same labor, when we employ for the service of Kṛṣṇa, every inch of it is utilized.
Lecture on BG 4.13 -- Johannesburg, October 19, 1975: You cannot manufacture religion. And what is actual religion? If you follow, then you are religious. The actual religion is the God's order. That is... everyone follows some principle of religion to understand God. And in our Vedic system the only purpose of life is to understand God. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. In the human form of life we have no other business. No other. Other business, that, cats and dogs are also doing, and we are also doing. That is automatic. It is not that other animals, they are starving. They are also eating and we are also eating. But the facility is, the other animals lower than the human being, they haven't got to do any business or any profession or go from one country to another to earn livelihood. That is their advantage.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.13.12 -- Geneva, June 3, 1974: Vidura left his home for good. It is not that he has again come back to live with his family members. No. His only purpose was that his elder brother Dhṛtarāṣṭra was rotting there. He lost everything. He lost his kingdom, lost his sons, grandsons and everything. Still, he could not give up the so-called material happiness. He was... Of course, these Pāṇḍavas, they were treating Mahārāja Dhṛtarāṣṭra and his wife Gāndhārī very gorgeously as head of the family, but he was not ashamed that he intrigued so much difficulties and plot against the Pāṇḍavas. There was big fight, Kurukṣetra, in which he lost everything. Still, he was living under their care for some material comforts. So this was very shameful affair. So Vidura was very much attracted, attached to Mahārāja Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Therefore, bhrātur jyeṣṭhasya śreyas-kṛt. Bhrātuḥ means brother, and jyeṣṭha means elder. So actually, Vidura went there for the benefit of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Therefore, kañcit kālam atha avātsīt. He decided to live at home along with the family members for some time.
Lecture on SB 3.25.35 -- Bombay, December 4, 1974: From the very beginning of Kṛṣṇa's birth, the enemies are there, demons are there. Kaṁsa advised his constables, "So be very careful. As soon as there is Kṛṣṇa's birth, immediately inform me, and I shall kill Him." He was always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, a first-class Kṛṣṇa conscious, always..., but to kill Him. Similarly, you will find there are so-called religionists. Their only purpose, so-called scholars, their only purpose is how to kill Kṛṣṇa. You will find so many commentaries by the politician, by the so-called scholars, but their only aim is how to kill Kṛṣṇa, how to take away Kṛṣṇa from Bhagavad-gītā. No mention of Bhagavad-gītā..., of Kṛṣṇa. They will talk so many nonsense, but they will never say that "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He should be worshiped." They will never say. That means asuras. Āsuraṁ bhāvam. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ, māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. "Oh, they are very big, big scholars, sir. You are talking about them as mūḍhāḥ, narādhamāḥ?" Yes. Because although they are so-called scholars, their real knowledge has been taken away. Māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ. Why this punishment, that their knowledge has been taken away? Āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ? "They are simply thinking of killing Me, that's all." How to evade kṛṣṇa-bhakti, that is their whole propaganda.
Lecture on SB 7.6.6 -- New Vrindaban, June 22, 1976: So actually this life is meant for this purpose. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23]. There is no other purpose. All other activities secondary. So those who are very much advanced in spiritual life, just like the brāhmaṇas, the sannyāsīs, they did not bother about what to eat, where to sleep. Sex life is completely forgotten. Even what to eat, where to sleep, there is no such consideration. Simply engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is only business. Of course, we cannot do that in the neophyte stage, but actually that is the only purpose. Unfortunately, the modern civilization has discovered so many artificial ways of life that it is very, very difficult to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness business. So therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja says that simply for sense gratification, if we waste our time, that is not good. Tat prayāso na kartavyo—don't waste your time for increasing the scope of sense gratification. That is not at all required. Tat-prāyaso na kartavyo yata āyur-vyayaḥ param. Āyur means duration of life. Simply wasted. Vyayaḥ, vyayaḥ means expanded or wasted. Param. This duration of life, human form of life is param. Param means the supreme.

General Lectures

Sunday Feast Lecture -- London, July 25, 1976: Gṛha-vratānām. Gṛha, there are different meanings of gṛha. Especially gṛha, we mean the home, house. Gṛha-vrata and gṛhastha, they are two different. Gṛhastha means although he is in gṛha, household life, his purpose is to go back to home, back to Godhead. They are called gṛhastha. And whose only purpose is to live at home-decorate the home, decorate the wife, decorate the children and make money to live very comfortably—they are called gṛha-vrata or gṛhamedhi. They are not gṛhastha. Gṛhastha means although he's living with wife, children, family, but his purpose is how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, how to go back home, back. They are called gṛhastha. So gṛhasthāśrama is as good as other āśramas. There are four āśramas. Vedic civilization means four varṇas and four āśramas. Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, and brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. So those who are not following this principle of varṇāśrama-dharma, living like cats and dogs, they also live with wife, children. That sort of living is called gṛha-vrata. Gṛha-vratānām. Matir na kṛṣṇe: "They cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious." Matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām. Why? Now, adānta-gobhiḥ. Go means senses. Go means cow. Go means land also. So anyone who has taken the vow of sense gratification... That is the modern world, that "Somehow or other, satisfy senses." They cannot control the senses. Adānta-go. Adānta. Dānta means control. Adānta, not controlled. Adānta-gobhiḥ. So what is that? Viśatāṁ tamisram: "They are going towards hell," because this sense gratification process, unrestricted sense gratification process, he is creating a situation of different mentality and that mentality will be prominent at the time of death, and according to that situation he'll get his next birth.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation and Interview with Ian Polsen -- July 31, 1972, London: Prabhupāda: Arjuna was thinking in terms of personal sense gratification: "I shall not fight. It is not good to kill my kinsmen, my brother." That was personal sense gratification. From ordinary point of view people will say, "How Kṛṣṇa is..., Arjuna is nice, that he's giving up his claim, and nonviolent." But this philosophy Kṛṣṇa immediately kicked out. Kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam. "Oh, why you are talking nonsense like this?" That was His answer. (laughs) Next He says, aśocyān anvaśocas tvam prajñā-vādāṁś ca [Bg. 2.11], "You are talking just like a very learned man, but this kind of lamentation is not done by any learned. That means you are fool number one." (laughter) So after understanding Bhagavad-gītā he agreed to fight. "Yes. I shall fight." That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now people will say, "Oh, fighting, killing is Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" Yes, if Kṛṣṇa wants it. To... Therefore our business is not in the estimation of this material world to become a good man. Our estimation is how Kṛṣṇa will accept me as good man, that's all. We don't care for this world. Just like gopīs, they left their husbands, they left their father, went to Kṛṣṇa. What is this philosophy? They wanted to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, not their father, brother. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "This is the highest worship." (Sanskrit) There is no greater, topmost example of worship than the gopīs did. Because their only purpose was to serve Kṛṣṇa, unalloyed, without being disturbed by any other consideration. That is highest perfection: How to serve Kṛṣṇa. How Kṛṣṇa will be pleased. So at the present moment the best service to render for Kṛṣṇa is that... Kṛṣṇa..., when I speak of Kṛṣṇa, means God, the Supreme Lord.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- February 13, 1974, Vrndavana:

Śyāmasundara: Then what is that purpose? What is Kṛṣṇa's purpose?

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is living force. He has got different purpose.

Śyāmasundara: Oh.

Prabhupāda: Don't say that Kṛṣṇa has only one purpose, that only purpose is that you surrender. Now, when you surrender, whatever Kṛṣṇa says you do it.

Śyāmasundara: Oh. So His purpose is individual for everyone.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Varieties of purposes. Kṛṣṇa is asking Arjuna to fight with the Kurus, or He's asking me to preach. I am not fighting. So Kṛṣṇa, (indistinct), He has got varieties of order, and your duty is to carry out the order of Kṛṣṇa, that's all. What kind of order He'll give, you accept, just like you are doing, all my disciples. It is not that you are all doing the same thing. Somebody is pūjārī, somebody is preaching, somebody is collector, somebody is (indistinct), somebody is this, somebody is that. So there are different varieties, but your duty is to carry out my order.
Morning Walk -- April 1, 1974, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Yes. That was his satisfaction. But Kṛṣṇa wanted that "You must fight." And when he agreed to that, that is his perfection. Before that, he was trying to satisfy he.

Guest (1): Yes. When he surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, that was his...

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the only purpose of life. Anything that is done, that is useless waste of time. Therefore Kṛṣṇa particularly said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vra... [Bg. 18.66]. That is ekam. You try to satisfy Kṛṣṇa only. That will give you perfection. Otherwise your own satisfaction, that's all.
Reporters Interview -- June 29, 1974, Melbourne:

Guest (3): So, Śrīla Prabhupāda, is the purpose of human life to realize God?

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the only purpose. Except this purpose, fulfilling, anything we are doing, that is animalism. As the dog is jumping we are also jumping like that. It is dog's dancing, that's all. What is the difference? A dog is thinking, "I am very strong dog. I am this." And another man—"I am Englishman. I am..." So what is the difference? Mentality is the same. To think of this body that "I am this body," that is required to the dog, to the man. When one understands that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul," that is humanity.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- September 5, 1976, Vrndavana:

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: That solves all the problems.

Prabhupāda: No, solves or not solves, we shall see later on. But this is the principle. This is the principle. Solution, if we do not become very simple servant of Kṛṣṇa, problems will increase. It will never be solved. If you have got any other desire than to serve Kṛṣṇa, then the problems will increase. It will never decrease. Therefore bhakti begins, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. No other purpose than to serve Kṛṣṇa. This is only purpose. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. So our only business is how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa in His original status as Kṛṣṇa, and in His other status as Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and in both ways, He's insisting to preach. That is a very important business. Neither Caitanya Mahāprabhu nor Kṛṣṇa has recommended that you become a great devotee and sit down in a place and talk big, big words and simply eat and sleep. Kṛṣṇa has never said. That is not Kṛṣṇa's neither Caitanya Mahāprabhu's business. That is not required.


1972 Correspondence

Letter to Bhakta dasa -- Sydney 9 April, 1972: This process of surrendering 50% of all profits made by the temple has been adopted by you, and I think you are the pioneer in this giving up of 50% to my Book Fund, though I had recommended it should be our general policy to Karandhara some months back. Of course, I can only suggest, and wherever possible that can be applied, but I do not force anyone. After all, you are only working so hard to please Krsna only out of love for me, so there can be no question of force if love is there. We should not ever try to force anyone or reduce our Society to an impersonal business exchange, this will kill everything. Our only purpose in every endeavor is simply to make advancement in spiritual life or in pleasing Krsna.
Letter to Danavir -- Bombay 17 December, 1972: Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated November 27, 1972, and I note that you are requesting to take the sannyasa order of life. But if you have got wife, that will be difficult. If someone devotee has got wife, that will not become a very popular policy to grant so easily sannyasa. And if your wife wants many children, that is the only purpose for getting married to wife, to have facility for sex-life, otherwise what is the use for taking so much botheration of married life? So now you are married man, that decision you have made. That is great responsibility, and that should not become so light matter that anyone may think, Oh, let me get married and if I don't like my wife, or there is anything difficulty, I will write Prabhupada for taking sannyasa, finished. Never mind wife, let her go to hell. That is not very nice proposal. Married life is serious business. If you have taken wife, you must be completely responsible for her throughout your life. She shall always serve and obey you without fail, and you shall instruct her in Krishna Consciousness and act as her spiritual master.
Facts about "Only purpose"
Compiled byVisnu Murti + and Serene +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryNovember 18, 0008 JL +
Date of last entryJuly 9, 0009 JL +
Total quotes25 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 3 +, SB: 4 +, CC: 2 +, OB: 3 +, Lec: 6 +, Conv: 5 + and Let: 2 +